Malaysia Bagus News
Malaysia Bagus News
KUALA LUMPUR: “It’s not even 7,” the man complains.
The video zooms in on pieces of paper with names scribbled on them arranged in a neat line on the walkway leading up to the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Lands and Mines Department. The line stretches for about 100m or so.
“How long has this been here?” another man asks aloud.
The first man then says the pieces of paper were already “queueing up” when he arrived at 5am.
The conversation in a 28-second video which went viral recently led to FMT paying an early morning visit to the department, where runners said the video was recorded when the department resumed its counter services in February during the second movement control order (MCO 2.0).
They explained that the papers were used to reserve spots in the queue’s various counters and were exchanged for queue numbers once the office opened for the day.
“Runners” place these scraps of paper on the ground in the wee hours of the morning and members of the public arriving even before sunrise are forced to wait behind the 100-odd pieces of paper.
The men in the video say queues were known to form as early as 4am due to a daily quota on customers.
During reporters visit, however, runners and customers only started trickling in at around 7am.
One runner said the queue in the video was because of the number of pending applications and paperwork due to the closure of the department’s counter operations for a while, although he added that early morning queues were “nothing new”.
“I’ve been a runner for eight years, and before the Covid-19 pandemic, runners queued from as early as 10pm the night before during peak seasons. Like before, land and parcel taxes were due,” said the runner, who wanted to be known as Ayie.
“There are always long queues as people don’t want to get penalised for not paying these taxes on time. Once inside, it’s pretty efficient and we can get everything done in less than half an hour.”
The department’s director, Muhammad Yasir Yahya, said the video was most likely recorded when the department resumed services on Feb 2.
The office closed on Jan 13 when MCO 2.0 was first implemented but reopened less than a month later due to public demand for its various counter services.
“When the agency’s operations resumed, there was a large number of customers present. However, the number of customers began to decline soon after counter service began,” he told FMT. He did not comment on the “paper queues” and why they could serve as substitutes for real queues of customers.
The department provides online services for the payment of land and parcel taxes, land title searches and the ability to check application statuses through its e-Tanah system. However, matters such as witnessing the signing of documents and the transfer of titles still have to be done physically at the department’s offices.
Stressing that the department was constantly striving to improve the quality of its services, Yasir said the department is exploring the application of latest technologies such as those used by other agencies. He did not elaborate.
Since the start of the pandemic, government agencies such as the Immigration Department, Road Transport Department and National Registration Department switched to online appointment systems aimed at preventing crowds from converging.
While it does not have such a system, the Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory Lands and Mines Department did employ a quota system last December which limited the number of customers it could entertain each day.
However, this system was discontinued at the start of the conditional MCO (CMCO) last month to allow more customers to conduct dealings with the office.
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